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Possible sick chicken but not sure

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Darklingstorm, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 24 week old BO pullet. She has been laying eggs for a couple of weeks now and I think she is still laying eggs. Going to keep her in the "hospital" for 24 hours to see. I also have 8 other chickens of different breeds and she is the only one acting odd. We have a large coop that stands 2 feet off the ground, water & feed available inside and outside. The chickens have free range over the yard. I have a mister unit that keeps the ground under the coop cool and there is lots of shade. They are all eating grower/finisher feed (3 pullets are younger and not quite ready for layer feed) and I have crushed oyster shell available at all times. I've been giving them frozen corn, peas, tomatoes and squash for treats for weeks now (I always wash off the treats to make sure that it doesn't freeze to their throats when eating). There are no obvious signs of injury, no mites or other bugs. She pooped on me when I picked her up and it was white/yellow, not stiff but I wouldn't call it diarrhea either. She is also 2nd in command and isn't being picked on.

    Yesterday I noticed that she was not responding to me when I call out for treats. She was under the coop "sleeping". So I naturally got worried and went to check on her and with the help of hubby we managed to catch her. Oh yes she sort of ran from us, more like walked fast but wouldn't leave the coop grounds. She didn't struggle either when I was holding her, she usually does. I was afraid that she was over heating so brought her in the house. After about two hours she tried to get out of the "hospital" (plastic tote with a metal grate on top that I use for sick birds). So I put her back outside and she goes right back under the coop but seems fine. Walking around and bad mouthing the humans as normal. It's been very hot lately but it is actually cooler these last couple of days then it has been.
    Later that night I go out to put them all to bed, which includes a head count, last egg check and securing the door. I found her in a nest box, something she has never done before. I have wooden eggs in each nest and I was wondering if she was trying to go broody. So I took the eggs out and removed her from the nest. After a good struggle of wills she finally goes and gets on a roost, she kept trying to get back in the nest.
    This morning she runs out in the yard with the rest of them and scratches around... couple of hours later she is under the coop or laying next to my son's little pool appearing to be asleep. Head drooping, eyes closed and wings slightly away from body. Not panting. I checked on her every hour and she was always laying down, sleeping. Again she didn't come to my call or even acknowledge that she heard me. So again we have brought her inside and placed her in the hospital. I did see her drink but not eat. Her comb and wattle are slightly paler today but still red. She seems to be walking fine, not dragging her wings or butt.

    Is the heat finally getting the best of her?
    Is it early signs of going broody?

    Please help she is my hubby's favorite and our only BO.
     
  2. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It does sound like there's something wrong. Heat can affect hens days later as their organs don't cope and gradually shut down. I wonder if she's heat affected *and* trying to go broody?

    It could also be the start of a reproductive issue. Sometimes in the heat a hen might fail to eat enough calcium to create strong eggshells, and soft shelled eggs are harder to lay. I would also check for egg binding; I wouldn't insert anything into the vent, but have a gentle feel around the pelvic area to see if there's a large hard mass that might be stuck.

    I'm sorry I can't really help, these are just what occurs to me. There's certainly plenty that can go wrong with a chicken. But if it's just mild heatstroke, she might be perfectly fine in a few days after some chill-out time. Unfortunately with serious heatstroke the organs can be permanently damaged, but I think she'd be much sicker in that case...

    Good luck and I hope you get some more solid answers...
     
  3. MonicasGarden

    MonicasGarden Out Of The Brooder

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    My guess would be the heat plus going brody. Heat can make chickens stop eating and drinking plus hens dont eat or drink much when they go brody. Chickens lay their wings on the ground to try to cool themselves. Struggling is a good sign, though, it means she still has energy in her. If it was me I'd try separating her and making sure she's eating and drinking enough. If she's not, you could try hand feeding her. Also, make sure the temperature isn't too hot inside the laying boxes. You could hose down the top of the coop to cool it down if its hot. Hope I helped.
     
  4. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well she isn't perking back up like yesterday. So I'm going to try a warm soaking bath for her tonight. hope she isn't egg bound.
    We have a fan blowing inside the coop and I check for eggs often. If I see a girl in a nest I go back and check again in 30 minutes. If she is still there I check for an egg, if found, I remove it and she usually gets off the nest.

    She has been inside for several hours now and is just laying there awake, no sounds and it doesn't look like she has drank anything.
    I have some sav-a-chick should I give that to her instead of just plain water?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  5. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK she just pooped in the box and its very white and a touch of black. Is this a sign of being egg bound?
     
  6. MonicasGarden

    MonicasGarden Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know really anything about egg bound hens but the poop sounds normal. Here's a link that is kind of gross but shows normal and abnormal poop. http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0
    I
    also don't know anything about sav-a-chick..but I'd try giving her some water from a dropper and maybe holding food directly in front of her to make sure shes getting enough.
    "An eggbound bird typically shows the following symptoms: lethargy, loss of appetite, draggy wings, closed eyes, puckering vent that is dripping clear or white liquid, swollen vent, tail either straight up in the air or at "half mast"." Is she showing these symptoms?
     
  7. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sav-a-chick can't hurt. It's vitamins and electrolytes that can give a chicken a needed boost. I regularly put a vitamin/electrolyte mix in my chickens' water.

    I'd keep her inside and watch her. Make sure she gets enough to drink, and if she's not eating, try some hard-boiled or scrambled egg or plain yogurt.

    Good luck.
     
  8. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Took to vet this morning. She is not egg bound! [​IMG]
    However she is having some kind of issue were her vent is slightly swollen. So he gave her a shot of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and vitamins. I have to give her two more shots over the next couple of days.

    Thank you all for your suggestions and well wishes.

    Will let you know how she is doing.
     
  9. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    update: Buffy has made a full recover and is now back out with the others. Still don't know what made her sick and none of the others have come down with it. Just in time too for my new babies are due tomorrow.

    Thank you for the thoughts and wishes on her recovery
     

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